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This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • Marange, Chiadzwa and other diamond fields and the Kimberley Process - Index of articles

  • Parliamentary Committee activities during recess - Bill Watch Special
    April 19, 2010

    Most portfolio and thematic committees have suspended operations to allow members to play their part in the Constitution Select Committee’s outreach programme, meaning that normal committee activity will not resume until after the Houses resume sitting in June. This position may be reviewed if the commencement of the outreach programme is delayed much longer.

    There is, however, some committee activity taking place and persons wishing to make submissions to the three portfolio committees mentioned below can still do so during the recess [see below for further information on how to get submissions to committees].

    Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy to Visit Chiadzwa

    The Mines and Energy Portfolio Committee will meet on Tuesday 20th April to chart the way forward on its investigation into the Government’s arrangements for the exploitation of the Chiadzwa diamond field. After being turned back when it tried to visit Chiadzwa some weeks ago, the committee has tentatively scheduled another visit for 21st and 22nd April [including a possible public hearing for residents of the area] and has asked the co-Ministers of Home Affairs for clearance for this visit. The Minister of Mines has passed the issue of clearance to Home Affairs because the diamond field is a protected area under the Protected Places and Areas Act, and this Act comes under Home Affairs. As a large ministerial delegation headed by Vice-President Nkomo visited the area last week, it is difficult to believe that the Parliamentary committee will be denied access again.The committee will eventually produce a report on its investigation and this report will be tabled in the House of Assembly. The committee is still open to written submissions.

    POSA Amendment Bill

    The Second Reading debate on the POSA Amendment Bill commenced on 18th March, just before the House of Assembly adjourned until the 30th June. After contributions by the private member introducing the Bill, Hon. Gonese, and his seconder, a member of the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Home Affairs presented the committee's report on the Bill [electronic version of report available on request]. The report details the views expressed by civil society organisations and members of the public at the several public hearings on the Bill that were held around the country and sets out in full a new clause put forward by Veritas.

    Where one or more police officers use force in order to disperse a gathering or to prevent disorder at a gathering, the police officer or the senior police officer concerned, as the case may be, shall without delay, and in any event within four days thereafter, prepare a written report detailing:

    (a) the circumstances in which the force was used; and

    (b) the nature of the force that was used; and

    (c) the identity of the police officers who used the force; and

    (d) any deaths, injuries or loss of or damage to property resulting from the use of force;

    and shall cause copies of the report to be forwarded without delay to the Minister and to the convenor of the gathering.

    It is not too late for interested organisations and members of the public to send in written submissions on the Bill; these will be circulated to members of the committee, and members who have not yet contributed to the Second Reading debate will have an opportunity to make use of helpful submissions during the continuation of the debate after the House resumes.

    Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion: Indigenisation Regulations

    This committee has not yet concluded its consideration of the Indigenisation Regulations. It hopes to hold further public hearings in Manicaland, Masvingo and Mashonaland in addition to the well-attended meetings already held in Bulawayo and Harare. So it is not too late for interested organisations and members of the public to send in written submissions on the regulations for the information of the committee.

    Getting Submissions to the Relevant Committee

    Submissions can be:

    • sent by post to The Clerk of Parliament [clearly marked for the attention of the relevant portfolio committee], P.O. Box CY298, Causeway, Harare, or
    • delivered to Parliament, using the Kwame Nkrumah Avenue entrance, between Second and Third Streets.

    New arrangements for e-mail submissions

    As a result of enquiries from people round Zimbabwe and in the Diaspora who are unable to post or deliver submissions in time to reach Parliamentary Committees while they are holding hearings on various matter of public interest, Veritas has approached Parliament and Parliament has agreed that e-mail submissions will be accepted. They should be sent to the Clerk of Parliament [] and clearly marked for the attention of the relevant Parliamentary Committee; the Clerk will ensure that they are passed on to the committee in question.

    Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied

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